July 12, 1998

7/12/98 Happy Hill Shelter

20.6 miles (1714.7 total)

What a day! Long, hard miles (my last 20+) but the sun was out and had cool breezes all day.

Last night, who should stroll in about 8pm but Ghandi. It was so good to see him, since the last time was in Port Clinton, PA. He’d skipped the Long Trail because of his deadline. But, as he told me, that meant everyone else, Smiley, Piper, Veto, Longstride, etc., were at least 5 or 6 days behind. Really no way to catch me except maybe at Katahdin. He spent the evening telling his tales of adventure.

Found many wild flowers along the trail

By morning, much to my surprise, it hadn’t rained any last night. Still, clouds in the sky but a lot of blue. I just didn’t want to get my hopes up. Set out by myself about 8am, sometime after Bluegrass. The last couple of days has taken me through some of the worst winter-storm damage I’ve seen since Virginia. Ran into Bluegrass sometime before reaching Cloudland Shelter. Again, relocations of the trail seem to have made it longer because our mileage was so slow. Even though it continued to be a nice day, Bluegrass was in a foul mood. Finally, after taking a quick break, he headed off for the White River some 6 miles away. Ran into 3 more southbounders from Katahdin. The first was hiking with the infamous Wolf. Next came Eric. who I thought at first had a speech problem, but then I guessed he was from Quebec. Then met Dirt at the White River who seemed like a nice guy.

I just love it when the trail passes a store with a deli
Ummmmm Great Lunch!

Arrived a little earlier than I expected, but found Bluegrass down by the riverbank eating some Ben and Jerry’s with a smile. I myself set off to the newly opened store for a sandwich, coke and ice cream. Went back to the riverbank to eat and just sit in the sun, while Bluegrass and Dirt went swimming.

The only bad thing was still having several more climbs this early evening after eating all that food. Bluegrass and I set out at a pretty slow pace. Finally found it, only because the privy is still there, but the shelter had burned down. We knew we’d have to tent, and besides, the mosquitoes were pretty bad so the tents worked out fine. Still no sign of Ghandi but he’s used to night hiking, so he could arrive at any time.